Object scrambling in Chinese
Author(s)Soh, Hooi Ling, 1968-
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This thesis examines the role of prosody and semantics in word order variations in Chinese. In particular, I address the controversial issue of whether overt object scrambling is available in Chinese. I argue that overt object scrambling exists in Chinese on the basis of (i) scope evidence, and (ii) the similarities between the distribution of the object in Chinese and object scrambling in Dutch and German. I show that the distribution of the object in Chinese exhibits prosodic, semantic and discourse information structure effects, similar to object scrambling in Dutch and German (Neeleman and Reinhart, to appear). I suggest that certain differences between Chinese and Dutch/German in the distribution of the object follow from the different word orders in these languages and how the word orders interact with the possibility of stress shift. There is evidence from the distribution of the object(s) in serial verb constructions and double complement constructions that the scrambled object occupies a position within the VP. This study places Chinese among languages such as Dutch and German which allow object scrambling and by doing so, enriches the data base for determining why scrambling occurs.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy, 1998.Includes bibliographical references (p. -285).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Linguistics and Philosophy